Petition aims to increase Māori representation on Councils

By Heta Gardiner

It seems Māori are not being fairly represented on Councils across the country. 

Minister for Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell says, “We've seen that in the past, very few Māori fill those roles. Despite ones skills and passion to pursue these seats, more often than not, nothing comes of it.”

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd presented a petition to parliament after his attempts to establish Māori wards on his council.

Current legislation only allows such a decision to be overturned by a referendum.

Flavell says, “The good thing about this petition is that it puts the issue in the public eye. “

Te Ururoa Flavell will support Judd's petition and will present it to parliament.

But the Māori Development Minister says getting support from National isn't going to be easy.

“In the past I have spoken to the Ministers. First to Paula Bennett, and in more recent times Sam Lotu-Iiga. He is open to having a dialogue about it, but when it comes to auctioning something more tangible, that is more difficult.”

The petition will be presented to parliament on the 3rd of May.